Female Chief Profiles

I like to focus on being positive. Even though we do have our challenges, you have to maintain being positive.

Lorraine Cobiness Ochiichagwe’Babigo’Ining

With over a decade of experience as Chief of Ochiichagwe’Babigo’Ining, Lorraine Cobiness is thankful for the opportunities she’s had to create meaningful partnerships that benefit her people.

Among Cobiness’ many accomplishments, she is the most proud of the balance she has been able to strike between national and community needs – from collaborating with industry and government to manage the Kenora forest, and the ongoing development of an all nations health care system and hospital, to opening Keshick High School as a way to pass on local culture, language, and heritage.

Marilyn Sinclair Obashkaandagaang First Nation

Sinclair has high hopes for her community and term as Chief. She is the first female Chief for Obashkaandagaang First Nation, and feels extremely honoured to have the power of an all-female Council, and 9 strong, female Chiefs, behind her.

As she heads into her first 6 months of leadership, her main focus is to secure funding to build a new community centre that will function as a Band Office, recreation hub, and rehabilitation centre, as well as develop more housing and an effective water treatment plan.

Kim Sandy-Kasprick is actually the second female Chief of Northwest Angle 33 First Nation in her family – a position first held by her mother in the 1970s.

Kim Sandy-Kasprick Northwest Angle 33 First Nation

As Chief, Sandy-Kasprick is tasked with overseeing two communities as well as members located across Western Ontario, Manitoba, and British Columbia. Currently, Sandy-Kasprick is focused on improving her peoples’ access to education, as their inlet community has not had a school in over 20 years. With more people leaving to go to school outside of their community, families are spending less time on the reserve and in some cases they aren’t coming back at all.

Through regional partnerships, and taking initiative to think outside the box, Sandy-Kasprick is beginning to establish an
education program, including elders who are teaching children to embrace their tradition and language, in an effort to keep the communities connected.

Patricia Big George Naongashiing

With over ¾ of her term as Chief served, Chief Patricia Big George has witnessed and implemented some major changes within the Naongashiing community. Most notably, local employment opportunities have steadily increased due to Big George’s perserverance and hiring practices.

If Big George were to be elected for another term, it’s her hope to be able to focus more on economic development, as well as promotion of traditional culture within the community. Growing up with Ojibwe as her first language, it’s important to Big George that there are continued efforts to keep tradition alive.